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The UIC’s DIOMIS project looks to boost the competitiveness of rail for international freight

The UIC DIOMIS project (Developing Infrastructure Use and Operating Models for Intermodal Shift) seeks to improve the competitiveness of international rail freight transport and encourage a shift of traffic from other modes – the roads especially – to rail. To this end, it must help identify ways and means of decongesting the network of rail infrastructure and terminals and make them more attractive to shippers for international transport operations. A key question addressed by this project is how to absorb the anticipated growth in combined transport volumes in the years ahead, on a rail network shared between different types of traffic and already highly saturated.

The DIOMIS project is divided into 9 modules, each of which will produce a report. The results of the work from 3 of these modules were presented recently. • « Development of domestic combined transport », which analyses domestic combined-transport growth and its impact on the infrastructure. For the record, the Capacity Reserves Study published in 2004 had focused exclusively on the development of international combined transport on the 2015 horizon, with domestic combined transport then viewed as a constant. In this particular DIOMIS module, the analysis of domestic combined transport was carried out for several countries, namely Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. The study findings show that by 2015 the congestion zones will not only be denser but also more numerous. In Germany, for example, the most revealing corridor is Hamburg-Frankfurt, with congestion levels increasing from 41% to 68% by 2015. In Italy too the Bologna-Florence corridor by 2015 will have reached record congestion levels following the anticipated growth in domestic combined transport. Bearing in mind the conclusions reached by the Consultants in respect of this module, it was decided to organise a one-day briefing session on 1 February 2007 in order to heighten the awareness of all the players concerned.

« How best to improve utilisation of existing capacity » is the object of the second module completed to date. On the basis of discussions held with combined-transport operators, the Consultants have produced a report listing best practices in terms of the management of existing capacity. These best practices are analysed against 3 three criteria: How easy are they to implement? Are they transposable to other operators? What is their impact on existing capacities? This module on 12 October last was the object of a well-attended workshop which brought together the main Railway undertakings and leading European combined transport operators.

« Report on combined transport » Between the AT Kearney Study and the Study on Capacity Reserves 2015, 15 years elapsed during which no study or report was published to highlight global combined transport trends at European level in terms of volumes, of development of market structures, etc. Yet such information is crucial, particularly as support to policy statements or investment decision-making. DIOMIS has therefore dedicated a module to this question and the report addresses the following aspects:

  • growth forecasts for (domestic and international) combined transport
  • market structure : players and customers
  • marker shares per segment
  • salient developments during the period reviewed (for information : it is planned to update this report every two years).

These reports are now available and are obtainable, on request, from Sandra Géhénot: gehenot uic.asso.fr For more information about the DIOMIS project, please visit the website: http://www.uic.asso.fr/diomis